skin cancer

Pembrolizumab Active in Virus-Positive and ‑Negative Advanced Merkel Cell Carcinoma

The PD-1 (programmed cell death protein 1) inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) was active in advanced Merkel cell carcinoma in both Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCP)-positive and -negative tumors, according to Nghiem et al, who reported their phase II study findings in The New England Journal of...

skin cancer

AACR 2016: 5-Year Survival Rates for Patients With Metastatic Melanoma Treated With Nivolumab Much Higher Than Historical Rates

More than a third of metastatic melanoma patients (34%) who received the anti–programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) immunotherapeutic nivolumab (Opdivo) in a phase I clinical trial are still alive 5 years after starting treatment, according to research presented by Hodi et al at the 2016...

gynecologic cancer
head and neck cancer
lung cancer
skin cancer

AACR 2016: RAF-Targeted Therapeutic BGB-283 Shows Early Promise Against Tumors With BRAF and RAS Mutations

The new investigational anticancer therapeutic BGB-283, which targets the RAF family of proteins, was safe, tolerable, and showed signs of clinical activity in patients who had a range of types of cancer with mutations in BRAF, KRAS, and NRAS, according to results from a phase I clinical trial...

skin cancer

Higher EZH2 and Ki67 Expression May Be Associated With Aggressive Basal Cell Carcinoma

In a study reported in a research letter in JAMA Oncology, Rao et al found that high expression of EZH2 and Ki67 was associated with more-aggressive basal cell carcinoma.EZH2 is a histone methyltransferase of the polycomb repressive complex 2. EZH2 overexpression or gain of function mutations has...

skin cancer

sFRP2 in Aged Melanoma Tumor Cells Drives Metastasis and Therapy Resistance

Cancer risk increases with one's age as accumulated damage to our cells and chronic inflammation occur over time. Now, an international team of scientists led by The Wistar Institute has shown that aged tumor cells in melanoma behave differently from younger tumor cells, according to study results...

Skin Cancer

Most Patients With Melanoma Had Few Nevi, None Atypical

Although nevi are considered among the strongest risk factors for melanoma, most patients with melanoma had few total nevi and no atypical nevi, according to an analysis of 566 patients with invasive cutaneous melanoma. “Three notable findings emerged from this case study,” Alan C. Geller, MPH, RN, ...

skin cancer

Vitamin D Level Associated With Melanoma Outcome Independent of C-Reactive Protein Level

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Fang et al found that lower vitamin D levels were associated with poorer outcome in patients with melanoma independent of C-reactive protein (CRP) levels. Study Details The study involved data from 1,042 prospectively observed patients with ...

skin cancer

Microneedle Patch Delivers Localized Anti–PD-1 Antibody Immunotherapy to Melanoma in Preclinical Models

Biomedical engineering researchers at North Carolina State University (NC State) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC Chapel Hill) have developed a technique that uses a patch embedded with microneedles to deliver cancer immunotherapy treatment directly to the site of melanoma....

skin cancer

Long Noncoding RNA SAMMSON Linked to Malignant Melanoma

In collaboration with researchers from Ghent University, Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie (VIB) scientists from the University of Leuven have revealed a remarkable link between malignant melanoma and a noncoding RNA gene called SAMMSON. The SAMMSON gene is specifically expressed in human...

skin cancer

Study Explores Genomic and Transcriptomic Features of Anti–PD-1 Resistance in Advanced Melanoma

Immunotherapy using anti­–programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) antibodies has revolutionized the treatment of advanced melanoma and a growing list of other cancers. But 60% to 70% of melanoma tumors are resistant to anti–PD-1 antibodies, and there is an urgent need to understand how to...

skin cancer

Assessment of Survival Impact of Atypical Responses With Pembrolizumab Treatment in Advanced Melanoma

As reported by Hodi et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, use of conventional Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) to assess response may have underestimated the benefit of treatment with the programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in the...

skin cancer

Melanoma-Specific Survival Significantly Higher With Wider Excision Margins

Among patients with high-risk, primary cutaneous melanomas, the risk of death from melanoma, at a median follow-up of 8.8 years, was significantly higher among those randomized to surgery with a 1-cm excision margin than among those randomized to surgery with a 3-cm excision margin. Although...

skin cancer

Study Finds Most Patients With Melanoma Had Few Total Nevi and No Atypical Nevi

Although nevi are considered among the strongest risk factors for melanoma, most patients with melanoma had few total and no atypical nevi, according to a study of 566 patients with invasive cutaneous melanoma. “Three notable findings emerged from this case study,” Alan C. Geller, MPH, ...

skin cancer

Improved Melanoma-Specific Survival Reported With Wider Excision Margin in High-Risk Primary Melanoma

Wider excision margins in high-risk primary cutaneous melanoma were associated with improved melanoma-specific survival, according to long-term follow-up in a UK-led trial reported by Hayes et al in The Lancet Oncology. No significant improvement in overall survival was observed. The initial report ...

skin cancer

Nivolumab Plus Ipilimumab in Unresectable or Metastatic Melanoma Regardless of BRAF Mutation Status

On January 23, 2016, the indication for nivolumab (Opdivo) plus ipilimumab (Yervoy) in unresectable or metastatic melanoma was expanded through accelerated approval to include patients regardless of BRAF V600 mutation status.1 The combination was previously approved for treatment of patients with ...

skin cancer

Melanoma-Specific Survival Significantly Higher With Wider Excision Margins

Among patients with high-risk, primary cutaneous melanomas, the risk of death from melanoma at a median follow-up of 8.8 years was significantly higher among those randomized to surgery with a 1-cm excision margin than among those randomized to surgery with a 3-cm excision margin. Although overall...

Skin Cancer

Expanded Approval of Pembrolizumab in Unresectable or Metastatic Melanoma

In the Clinic provides overviews of novel oncology agents, addressing indications, mechanisms, administration recommendations, safety profiles, and other essential information needed for the appropriate clinical use of these drugs.   On December 18, 2015, approval of the programmed cell death...

skin cancer

Increased Incidence of in Situ and Invasive Melanoma in Denmark

In a study reported in JAMA Dermatology,1 Neel Maria Helvind, MD, of the University Hospital Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues analyzed the increases in melanoma incidence seen in Denmark between 1985 and 2012. Over that time, the incidence of malignant melanoma doubled to rates...

skin cancer

Pembrolizumab Label Updated With New Clinical Trial Information

Late in 2015, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the label for pembrolizumab ­(Keytruda), a humanized antibody, to include the initial treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma.  Previously, pembrolizumab had received accelerated approval in patients with...

skin cancer

Anthony J. Olszanski, RPh, MD, on Immunotherapy and Melanoma

Anthony J. Olszanski, RPh, MD, of the Fox Chase Cancer Center, discusses the advances in immunotherapy generally and for melanoma in particular.

skin cancer
symptom management

Mario E. Lacouture, MD, on Management of Dermatologic Toxicities Associated With Targeted Therapies

Mario E. Lacouture, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the effect on patients of dermatologic toxicities associated with targeted therapies: their psychosocial impact, financial burden, physiological pain, and potential to alter therapy. But the side effects of targeted treatments can and should be addressed.

skin cancer

John A. Thompson, MD, on Treatment Options for Advanced Melanoma

John A. Thompson, MD, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, discusses the latest immunotherapeutics for advanced melanoma, including pembrolizumab, trametinib, nivolumab, and dabrafenib.

skin cancer

Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD, and Anthony J. Olszanski, RPh, MD, on Results From the Checkmate 067 Trial on Nivolumab, Ipilimumab, and Advanced Melanoma

Anthony J. Olszanski, RPh, MD, of Fox Chase Cancer Center, and Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discuss therapies for treatment-naive patients with advanced melanoma (Abstract LBA1).

skin cancer

Claus Garbe, MD, and Anthony J. Olszanski, RPh, MD, on The DECOG Trial on Sentinel Lymph Node–Positive Melanoma

Claus Garbe, MD, of the University of Tuebingen, and Anthony J. Olszanski, RPh, MD, of Fox Chase Cancer Center, discuss the survival of sentinel lymph node-positive melanoma patients with and without complete lymph node dissection (Abstract LBA9002).

skin cancer

Andrew James Martin, PhD, and Anthony J. Olszanski, RPh, MD, on Oral Nicotinamide to Reduce Nonmelanoma Skin Cancers

Andrew James Martin, PhD, of NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney, and Anthony J. Olszanski, RPh, MD, of Fox Chase Cancer Center, discuss a form of vitamin B3 that reduced the incidence of new nonmelanoma skin cancers in high-risk patients (Abstract 9000).

skin cancer

Andrew James Martin, PhD, on Oral Nicotinamide for Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer

Andrew James Martin, PhD, of NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney, discusses a form of vitamin B3 that reduced the incidence of new nonmelanoma skin cancers in high-risk patients (Abstract 9000).

skin cancer

NEWSREEL BRIEF: Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD, Summarizes Results From the CheckMate 067 Trial in Advanced Melanoma

Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center discusses therapies for treatment-naive patients with advanced melanoma (Abstract LBA1).

skin cancer

Claus Garbe, MD, Summarizes Results of the DECOG Trial on SLNB-Positive Melanoma

Claus Garbe, MD, of the University of Tuebingen, discusses the survival of sentinel lymph node biopsy–positive melanoma patients with and without complete lymph node dissection (Abstract LBA9002).

skin cancer

Shailender Bhatia, MD, on Merkel Cell Carcinoma: Final Results of a Phase II Study

Shailender Bhatia, MD, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, discusses his paper on interleukin-12 DNA and regression of Merkel cell tumors (Abstract 504).

skin cancer
head and neck cancer
breast cancer

Catherine C. Park, MD, on Novel Clinical Paradigms

Catherine C. Park, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, summarizes results from three clinical trials of radiation therapy for various cancers: metastatic melanoma, oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, and breast cancer (Abstracts 215, 3, and LBA7).

skin cancer

Nivolumab Plus Ipilimumab Receives Expanded FDA Approval in Unresectable or Metastatic Melanoma Across BRAF Status

Bristol-Myers Squibb announced on January 23 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved nivolumab (Opdivo) in combination with ipilimumab (Yervoy) for the treatment of patients with BRAF V600 wild-type and BRAF V600 mutation–positive unresectable or metastatic...

issues in oncology
skin cancer
issues in oncology

Inherited Genetic Markers May Predict Melanoma Survival and Help Plot Course of Disease

At NYU Langone Medical Center and its Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, researchers have discovered an inherited genetic marker that might provide clinicians with a personalized tool to gauge an individual’s survival and determine which patients require closer monitoring in the years...

skin cancer

Pregnancy-Associated Melanoma Is Linked With Higher Death Rates

Melanoma is on the rise in women of childbearing age. Those at the greatest risk, according to new Cleveland Clinic research, are women younger than 50 who are pregnant or have recently been pregnant. After adjusting for age, tumor location, and stage, researchers from Cleveland Clinic's...

palliative care
skin cancer
issues in oncology

Blood Test That Monitors ctDNA Better Than the Standard in Tracking Metastatic Melanoma

Physicians treating patients with metastatic melanoma may soon have a superior tool in their efforts to closely track the disease. A new study shows that a blood test that monitors blood levels of DNA fragments from dead cancer cells does a better job than the current standard test at tracking the...

Skin Cancer

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Adjuvant Therapy in Cutaneous Melanoma: The Need for a New Approach

Melanoma of the skin remains a fatal disease, and its incidence continues to rise, mostly in young adults during their prime. Surgery remains the most effective therapeutic modality, but patients’ survival depends on the stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis. Various therapeutic agents have ...

Skin Cancer

New Drug Application Submitted for Vemurafenib in Melanoma

Daiichi Sankyo announced that applications have been submitted for market approval for vemurafenib (PLX4032/RG7204) for the treatment of metastatic melanoma to the FDA and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Additionally, a premarketing application for approval for a companion diagnostic test has...

Skin Cancer

Changes Introduced to Better Inform Consumers about Sunscreen

The FDA announced that sunscreen products meeting modern standards for effectiveness may be labeled with new information to help consumers find products that, when used with other sun protection measures, reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging, as well as help prevent sunburn. The...

Skin Cancer

Novel Agents Improve Survival in Patients with Metastatic Melanoma

Novel treatments for metastatic melanoma dominated the buzz at the 2011 ASCO Annual Meeting and across the major news outlets, with reports that two agents with entirely different mechanisms of action could extend survival. The studies’ inclusion in the ASCO Plenary Session attested to the...

Skin Cancer

Using the New Melanoma Drugs in the Clinic

With two effective new treatments for advanced melanoma, the question has become how to best use them and how to manage their toxicities.  Vemurafenib (Zelboraf) and ipilimumab (Yervoy)1 have different pharmacokinetics, which lend themselves to different patient types. Omid Hamid, MD, of The...

Skin Cancer

Novel BRAF Inhibitor Receives FDA Approval in Metastatic Melanoma

Vemurafenib (Zelboraf) received FDA approval on August 17, 2011, for treatment of metastatic or unresectable melanoma, based on the results of the phase III BRIM3 trial.1 BRIM3 compared vemurafenib to dacarbazine in 675 untreated patients with the BRAF V600E mutation. Vemurafenib targets the...

Skin Cancer

Novel Drugs Ipilimumab and Vemurafenib for Advanced Melanoma

In this introductory installment of In the Clinic, The ASCO Post provides an overview of two new melanoma agents recently approved by FDA, with discussion on pivotal data leading to approval, dosage and administration, and managing drug-related toxicities. Watch for more on clinical use of novel...

Skin Cancer

Adjuvant Treatment Still Standard in Melanoma, but New Drugs Prolong Life in Metastatic Setting

At the Best of ASCO® Miami meeting, Omid Hamid, MD, The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute (www.theangelesclinic.org), Los Angeles, California, reviewed abstracts that received a great deal of attention at this year’s Annual Meeting—the new treatments for metastatic melanoma. He also described...

Skin Cancer

‘Breakthrough’ Approach to Advanced Basal Cell Carcinoma via Inhibition of Hedgehog Pathway

The first-in-class Hedgehog pathway inhibitor vismodegib appears to be a successful treatment for advanced basal cell carcinoma, a disfiguring and debilitating disease, according to a pivotal multicenter nonrandomized trial presented as a Best Abstract at a Presidential Session during the recent...

Skin Cancer

Investigators Unlocking the Mysteries of Merkel Cell Carcinoma

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute have documented the molecular activity through which the Merkel cell polyomavirus contributes to 80% of cases of Merkel cell carcinoma—a finding that holds promise for future therapies. The researchers are now working on testing more than ...

Skin Cancer

Gathering Data Point to Potential Advantages of Vismodegib in Basal Cell Carcinoma and Other Advanced Cancers

Vismodegib is a small-molecule, orally active hedgehog pathway inhibitor that has shown considerable promise in treating basal cell carcinoma and is currently being evaluated alone and in combination in early-phase trials in medulloblastoma and a long list of other cancers.1 Owing to its...

Skin Cancer

Physician-based Screening Leads to the Detection of Thinner Melanomas with More Favorable Prognosis

Physician-based screening leads to detection of thinner melanomas that were less likely to have negative prognostic attributes such as ulceration and dermal mitosis, according to a retrospective review of patient records and biopsy logs from 394 patients diagnosed with cutaneous melanoma. The...

Skin Cancer

Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy for Thin Melanomas?

When sentinel lymph node biopsy for the regional staging of melanoma was first introduced, it was recommended for any patient with a melanoma 1.0 mm in Breslow thickness or greater. Patients with thin melanomas were not thought to have a sufficiently high risk to warrant the additional cost and...

Skin Cancer

Cancer Survivors at Greater Risk for Cutaneous Melanoma

Patients with a previously diagnosed cancer have an increased risk of developing cutaneous melanoma, with the highest risk among patients who have had a prior diagnosis of melanoma, according to a report published in the Archives of Dermatology.1 Key Findings Using Surveillance, Epidemiology, and...

Skin Cancer

Ingenol Mebutate Approved for Topical Actinic Keratosis Therapy

The FDA has approved ingenol mebutate (Picato) gel for the topical treatment of actinic keratosis. At a concentration of 0.015%, the gel is used once daily on the face and scalp for 3 consecutive days, whereas a 0.05% dosage form is used once daily on the trunk and extremities for 2 consecutive...

Skin Cancer

FDA Approves Vismodegib for Basal Cell Carcinoma

The FDA has approved vismodegib (Erivedge) to treat adult patients with basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer. The drug is intended for use in patients with locally advanced basal cell cancer who are not candidates for surgery or radiation and for patients with metastatic...

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